Grow Your Own Salad Bowl
Posted at 11:00 - 24th April - Sarah Booth
Healthy, perfect for summer and super easy to grow. What's not to love about salad?! Here's some top tips on growing your own salad bowl.
Growing Your Greens!
One of the best things about growing salad, is that you don't need a garden! Salad veg can be grown in containers, window boxes, grow bags and any homemade planters you feel inspired to create.
Start off by choosing a partially sunny, partially shady spot. If you've chosen a plot in your garden, turn the soil over with some compost. If not, fill your containers with vegetable or multipurpose compost, which you can purchase at most supermarkets.
Many salad leaves grow within 30-40 days of planting, and because we're now entering the warmer days of spring, you can plant them directly into the soil.
Choose your seeds (click here for some top advice on what to choose) and plant them in rows across your plot or container. Salad seeds need to be sown in shallow soil (good tongue twister there!). About 1 cm deep, and then sprinkled with a small layer of compost.
Watering the soil before planting, is a great way for seeds to come in contact with moist soil and prevents the risk of drowning them with too much water after planting. Leave a 2cms gap between seeds and about 15cms between rows.
Water regularly and make sure the seeds are free from weeds.
Tomatoes are a joy to grow and will thrive in rich, fertile soil or peat-free potting compost. Choose a sunny, sheltered spot, water regularly and feed weekly with plant food once they start to flower.
Tomatoes are split into two main growing types - bush and cordon. Bush types are usually planted in pots or hanging baskets, Cordon types are trained to grow tall and supported by a cane or stake.
If you grow Cordon tomatoes then you will need a stake to support the plant, and you’ll need to pinch out side-shoots to stop the plant from fruiting on one central stem.
If you’re a beginner gardener then it’s a good idea to grow bush tomatoes, as you don’t need to stake them or pinch out growing tips.
Homegrown baby cucumbers taste delicious, but take a little more care to grow. There are loads of varieties, so have a glance at the seed packets before purchasing, and go for the compact varieties.
You will need a large container (around 20 litres) and can start planting outdoors around mid May-early June. However, if you're super keen and want to get a head start, you can grow your seeds inside around late April.
Place seeds on their sides at a depth of 8cms in fertile soil or compost, and allow 7-10 days for the seeds to germinate. Once plants are around 2cms tall, stake them with a garden cane for support.
Water regularly (being careful not to drown the soil, as this will damage the plant) and use a liquid fertiliser every two weeks for extra nutrition.
Easy to grow, beautiful to look at, and guaranteed to spice up any salad!
Simply prepare your bed or container with a mix of soil and compost and sow your radish seeds in rows according to the spacing instructions on the packet. Simply cover the seeds in a light layer of soil and water well.
Your seeds should germinate within 10 days. Thin them out once they’re big enough to handle, leaving 2.5cm between plants, removing any weeds as you go.
Radishes are best eaten when young and they’re usually ready after four weeks. Scrape away the top layer of soil before you harvest. If the radish is roughly 2cm in diameter, gently pull it from the soil, clean, chop it up and pop it in your salad.
And there you have it...your own home grown salad bowl, that will keep you happy and healthy until autumn!